I am a tuba player in a brass quintet. I have played--and listened to--hundreds of quintet charts. I probably own 20-30 quintet CDs, yet of all of them, this is the very best. The arrangements here are sublime, and the performances by the Empire Brass are as nuanced as anything I've ever heard for brass quintet. The West Side Story and Porgy and Bess suites performed here are not the same as what are in the printed sheet music "as performed by the Empire Brass." The arrangements on this CD are harder and better. I listen to this recording over and over again, and am awed by the individual musicians and the ensemble playing. If you don't own this one, buy it now! You won't regret it.
This is one of the best brass quintets around...and the specific line-up on this album, was the best that Empire Brass ever had! All of the players on this album are renowned for their playing ability on their respective instruments.
This album is comprised of music from West Side Story, Porgy & Bess, Bernstein's Mass, and Michael Tilson Thomas' Street Song. This group breathes new life into these songs, by "jazzin" up some of the arrangements. In addition to the brass, guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums are added to some of the tracks, which makes these arrangements even more believable. The highlight of this album is Mass, because Rolf Smedvig and crew are more suited to classical stuff. I picked this up because of the players on the album, and the arrangements were surprisingly good! The playing is great...a little stiff and rigid at times, but, good nonetheless.
I'm a trumpet player and I got this because of the performance of Michael Tilson-Thomas' Street Song and it's beautifully done. The Gershwin pieces sparkle and the West Side story work is great as well.